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Cyber threats in 2013

By David McMillin ·
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

As you look ahead to 2013, here's a personal finance resolution for your new year: Don't be a victim of a cyberattack.

However, like many resolutions, it looks like this one will be challenging to keep. A new report from security technology company McAfee highlights that hackers will be targeting your mobile device next year for new opportunities to steal your banking information. While you may be on the digital wallet bandwagon, you're not the only one. It looks like thieves are along for the ride, and they see opportunities to uncover your private information.

"As users are able to make "tap and pay" purchases in more locations, they'll carry their digital wallets everywhere," the report authors write. "That flexibility will, unfortunately, also be a boon to thieves."

McAfee warns that malicious hackers can develop programs that capitalize on that functionality to tap and infect mobile devices with worms that can steal money. The report states that these programs will be most dangerous in high-trafficked areas such as airports, malls and theme parks where a large number of mobile devices can help the worms transfer quickly and infect a large number of devices.

The potential troubles for your phone don't stop there. You may be used to spam emails, but get ready for spam text messages, too. McAfee predicts a rise in pill advertising and phishing lures via text messages next year. If you do receive a message that you believe is spam, McAfee says that you should forward the message to SPAM (7726) to notify your cellphone provider and have the message blocked.

It's been a tough 2012 for cybercrime. Banks have been primary targets for cyberattackers who have banded together to disrupt access to banking websites. As banks look to protect themselves and their account holders, the McAfee report highlights that financial institutions will need to work even harder in 2013 to keep money and information safe.

What are you concerned about in 2013? Are you keeping your mobile device updated with the latest security safeguards? Do you have any tips on how to protect your personal finance information?

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January 01, 2013 at 8:00 am

I don't buy all the hype, I'm very annal about my information and I was hit but the major problemw as because the bank I deal with did not do enough to protect me through a money transfer. It is very apparent (even though they deny) a bank transfer alerted the excess money and the next day the cyber attack was done. I don't do all the things that are mentione above to not do plus and I was almost wiped out. The inconvenience AND the denial by the bank was more frustrating than the actual use of my accounts. Then we go to the state's RTKL which tells people my name, where I work, my position and how much I make. Think about it, don't need a whole lot more than that to open any account. That's my intelligent legislators for you.

December 30, 2012 at 9:15 am

the whole world is corrupt, what's the big deal? surprised? not me.

G. Grasso
December 29, 2012 at 12:01 pm

The reason the thieves are having such a field day, is because the general public have become to electronically involved. I
am mystified that people will give their personal info to such
sites as Facebook and Twitter, and lose their personal privacy.
It's no wonder the thieves are having a good time. Remember a
lock only keeps honest people honest, a dishonest person will always find a way.

December 29, 2012 at 9:43 am

These people involved in credit-card scams are just common criminals who get a slap on the wrist when caught. Cut off their fingers or hands like they did in the past. That will get potential thugs thinking twice about trying it.

December 29, 2012 at 1:35 am

I just could not get on board with the mobile banking. Regardless of what safety mesasures may be in place I
figured it would be just a matter of time before "they"
would find a way to steal your info. I refuse to make it
easy for some slug to take my money. "They" can get a job.

December 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Thats some scary stuff.... I Think That transactions should have more security if they already don't, they also need to find a way to make the networks themselves failsafe beacuase that is the root of the problem.

R E Ocampo
December 28, 2012 at 12:52 am

That's is why I got rid of Chase Bears Debit Mastercard w/ Blink because previous card got stolen. Previous card was charged some India Rupees for an airplane ticket on Indian Airlines now Indian. Saw the electronic skimming on NBC 5 Chicago. And Chase requires $500 for Direct Deposit with NO FEES on a Grandfathered Account. That's why I like American Express Bluebird.